How You Can Respond to Uncertainty

Consider where you usually focus on during this season. Students and teachers go back to school. Summer turns to fall. September in churches, organizations, and businesses signifies the starting of a new program year.

You could sum up the last half of 2020 in a word, uncertainty. By now, I usually have the year planned out. It seems that many of the usual routines have gone on hold. Things could get better, but they could also get worse.

Every person has to manage a level of uncertainty. Teachers and students will navigate hybrid learning plans and less classroom time. Parents have to adjust their schedules with schooling and working. I think it’s safe to say that churches, organizations, and businesses will operate from two to three months instead of a year out.

During this season, I’m often reminded of how the Message paraphrases Proverbs 27:1, “Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.”

For some of us, we like to have the buttoned-down plan for the year. Learning to pivot means only looking a few weeks out instead of months. Others have to help support those in our lives who feel the worry and fear of uncertainty.

If we pause for a moment, admitting an uncertain future could open us to opportunities we may not recognize. Today, I want to share a few ways to respond to tomorrow’s uncertainty in a healthy way:

Separate what you can control versus what you cannot.

I recently heard Henry Cloud on the Managing Leadership Anxiety Podcast say, “We’re all control freaks, we just need to learn to control the right things ourselves.” ( Click here for the podcast)

Uncertainty perpetuates the lie that we have no control. Start here — you have control over your eating, sleeping, and drinking water. You might want to start a list with the realm of your control.

Identify one activity a day that gives you joy.

Take a walk outside. Listen to music or a podcast. Talk to a friend. Amid the uncertainty, take a moment to find one activity to give you joy. Also, look out for others in this way. Ask the people close to you how you can free them up for a moment of solace.

Input gratitude into conversations.

If you Google studies on gratitude, you will find several articles on the benefits of thanks. Many of our conversations start from a place of stress. Taking a moment to thank people and ask them about what they are grateful for allows us to have a different perspective.

Journal in prayer.

I start each morning writing out my prayers. They include my frustrations, worries, celebrations, and gratitude — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Pick a time during the day to write out your prayers. Pen to paper moves our thoughts from racing in our head to a physical place.

What are healthy ways you are responding to uncertainty? Share in the comment section below.

Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash

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Peter Englert

Adult Ministries Director @Browncroft . Host on @WGWPodcast. Married to @RobynEnglert | Subscribe to my blog ➡️